april 12 1993

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On this day in music history: May 15, 1993 - “That’s The Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 4 weeks on May 8, 1993, and topping the Club Play chart for 1 week on June 26, 1993. Written by Janet Jackson, James Harris III, and Terry Lewis, it is the sixth pop and ninth R&B chart topper for the youngest member of the Jackson musical family. After almost ten years recording for A&M Records, which produce four albums including the multi-platinum selling “Control” and “Rhythm Nation 1814”, Janet Jackson’s contract with the label expires in 1991. During that time she is approached by Virgin Records founder Richard Branson offers her a deal she is unable to refuse. Jackson signs a deal with the label estimated to be worth between $32 - 50 million. At the time it makes her the highest paid artist in the history of the music industry (until her brother Michael signs a new deal with Sony for $65 million one week later). With the deal signed, Janet returns to work with her longtime collaborators, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. One of the first things the duo give the singer is a demo tape for the track that becomes “That’s The Way Love Goes”. Based around a sample of James Brown’s classic “Papa Don’t Take No Mess”, at first Janet isn’t particularly enthused by it. But by the time she returns to Minneapolis after Christmas in January of 1993, she has a dramatic change of opinion of it. She also comes up with idea of writing the lyrics with a more sultry tone, rather than the original theme of love gone wrong. Once they submit the album, Virgin is initially hesitant to release the laid back, down tempo track as the first single, preferring the song “If”. However, Jackson is adamant that “That’s The Way” be released first, and they comply with her wishes. Issued on April 12, 1993, the single is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #14 on May 1, 1993, it rockets to the top of the chart two weeks later, becoming her most successful single ever. The single also wins a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1994. “That’s The Way Love Goes” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Three surviving images of SimRefinery, a game produced by Maxis’s Business Simulations division for Chevron.

Top: PC Magazine article “Businesses Play War Games” by Christopher Barr, June 15, 1993, 31.

Lower-left: San Francisco Chronicle article “Computer Games Get Real - Simulations let companies solve complex problems” by Ken Siegmann, Ben Wildavsky, and Chronicle staff writers, March 5, 1993, D1. (via Beyond Sims on Flickr)

Lower-right: Washington Post article “The Realities of Simulations” by John Burgess, April 12, 1993, 19.

For context, from the Post article… (shortened)

Simulations. They are already a big part of why computers are everywhere. Just look at arcade games. Now companies like Chevron and Maxis are trying to move the discipline to a new plateau, by using the whimsical approach of games to liven up industrial training courses.

Maxis’s SimRefinery may look familiar to some PC users. That’s because SimRefinery was produced by the same team that created the cult program SimCity in 1989. One of those rare programs that defines a new genre, SimCity has gone on to sell more than 2 million copies and create fanatic loyalty.

Chevron spent about $75,000 on a SimRefinery prototype that lacks some features - for example, the user should be able to design and build the refinery, as well as operate it, for example. But so far his team is still waiting for the go-ahead - and the money - to finish and introduce it. People at Chevron like it, [Chevron computer engineer Terrell Touchstone] said. But it’s still a big leap to make, this merger of games and training.